So the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to think of a way to make this blog a little more interactive, get a few other voices hopping around here. But what to do to generate some kind of interest? It didn’t take me long to realise that – *lightbulb* – this is a blog about writing, how about some kind of writing project?
The idea I have was inspired by both the Thieves Guild in Skyrim and Devin’s Flash Fiction contests on her forum (speaking of which, momentary plug for Feb’s contest. We got some Bad Cupid going on this month), and will hopefully be enough to draw a few people in.
The process: I’ll write a series of short stories following the main plot, and you guys can pick a supporting character/make up your own and write a flash fiction piece about them and how they associate with the plot/setting. It can be anywhere from 5 words to 2k, and any genre you want. The main plot will be literary fiction, but if you can find a way to work some magic/horror/sci-fi in there – go for it.
For the bloggers: You can post your story on your blog and link to me. I’ll post the first two sentences of your story here and link it to you. For the non-bloggers: I’ll post an email address and you can send them so I can post them here. Just note that if there’s anything that would make your mother gasp or blush, please let me know so I can put a disclaimer at the top. No, I’m not trying to take all the fun out – just trying to expand readability.
Although this is an open submission and everyone is welcome, I do ask that you put a bit of effort into editing before subbing. It’s a reflection on you that your work is presentable. Not asking for Dickens, just try to limit the textspeak. Unless that is your genre of choice…
The idea: Like I said, kinda Thieves-guildy. The setting is in the future – not very far, but the “when” doesn’t matter. There’s been a complete international market crash and the Western world has fallen apart. People are starving, mortality rates have skyrocketed since hospitals can’t afford to stay open; schools – never a big priority anyway – have all shut down and illiteracy is breeding once again. The rich hide behind their golden gates as if they can keep the poverty out. The city could be any city, but it’s known affectionately as the Greylands by one small group determined to survive.
The story revolves around a youth gang, a collection of cons, buskers, petty thieves, and pickpockets. Not out for notoriety, or to gain any kind of reputation, these kids (mostly 15-24) only want to make it through. They have no hope that things will change, but they don’t intend to lie down and die either. They live in the Shadows – abandoned subway tunnels,closed libraries and schools, anywhere they can hide. It’s a darker Never-Never Land where there’s no such thing as childhood and the only reason you don’t grow up is that you’re dead by 30.
Uplifting, right? But there is the warmer side – this gang works together to find food no one can afford, a perfect system of partnership. There are deep bonds and, if not hope, an acceptance that if this is the world, they may as well enjoy it.
I’ve already written most of the first story and I’m loving most of the characters. I’m open to suggestions as to where the plot ends up going, happy to pull ideas from some of your stories to help guide mine. With luck, I’ll be ready to post the first story by the first of March and I hope by then some of you have started thinking of ideas to write.
Let me know what you think!